This piece of fun weekend reading is contributed by StatsGuy, an occasional commenter and guest contributor on this blog.
It’s become quite popular to talk about the price of gold . . . in blogs, the press, at dinner parties. The latest topic of debate is not about the price of gold as a commodity, but about gold as the one and only king money. The basic argument is that 5,000 years of tradition will overwhelm the tyranny of modern government and the fiat printing press. The barbaric relic will defeat socialism, fascism, Obama-ism, and restore liberty to the world, after a terrible economic collapse in which gold-owning visionaries become fabulously wealthy.
Perhaps they are correct—or perhaps not. I don’t know what will happen in 10 years. However, unless civilization utterly collapses (which is what gold hoarders seem to want), the gold bubble will collapse. And I don’t mean the 10 year “bubble” . . . I mean the 5,000 year bubble.
This claim might sound crazy, but it’s quite easy to defend, for the simple reason that there is too darn much gold. Gold enthusiasts will note that you can’t just print gold like fiat paper. They will note that high quality mines are failing, and argue that we’ve passed “peak gold”.
The argument for the collapse has little to do with terrestrial mine quality (although massive amounts of money and new technology are flowing into exploration, long term mine development and extending the life of existing mines). The argument merely requires that gold price ultimately responds to supply.